MSTV, NAB seek proposals for DTV-to-NTSC converter box

The consumer device would enable DTV viewing on analog receivers

The Association for Maximum Service Television Stations (MSTV) and the NAB have announced a joint program for the development of a prototype terrestrial digital converter box (TDCB) to convert broadcasters' ATSC VSB digital transmissions and MPEG coding to the NTSC format. The MSTV and NAB have also announced availability of a Request for Quote (RFQ) for the TDCB.

Design goals for the TDCB include the following features:

  • Inexpensive, does not compromise over-the-air performance;
  • Processes all ATSC video formats;
  • Delivers video and stereo audio to NTSC receivers on either TV Ch. 3 or 4, along with a baseband composite video output with stereo audio;
  • Must have robust front-end performance, including multipath and overload immunity;
  • Small and lightweight;
  • Easy to install and operate;
  • Transparent to the user;
  • Be PSIP-compliant and have a friendly menu guide;
  • Comply with closed captioning, EAS and the required parental controls;
  • Include a detachable antenna and a smart external antenna interface;
  • Be operable by remote control.

Responses are due by noon on July 22. A working prototype is expected by the end of the year. Those interested in receiving the RFQ should send an e-mail to Victor Tawil at Vtawil@MSTV.ORG.

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